Our politicians may be tech-savvy enough to use laptops and powerpoint presentations or tweet on their cellphones, but when it comes to superstitions, they can be as tradition-bound as anyone else. Case in point: no major party has released their list of candidates because the fortnight of pitrupaksha, when devout Hindus offer remembrance and pujas for their ancestors, is considered inauspicious for starting anything new. The fortnight ends on Friday. So, from Saturday, expect all parties to start announcing their alliances, candidates and vision documents.
PS: Should we be at all surprised that a bill providing for tough legal action against those spreading superstitions has not been cleared by our politicians yet?
Who needs an austerity drive?
The babus of Mantralaya are enjoying a breather these days with most of our ministers away, planning their election strategies. Since the election code of conduct (that kicked in on August 31) bans the use of official facilities for political or personal purposes, all is quiet on the Mantralaya front.
And, as its officers point out, who needs an austerity drive when you have this code of conduct? First off, the government is saving lakhs of rupees as all those 'important' tours all over the state, country and the world at large have come to a grinding halt. Worse (for them, that is), they can't call frequent meetings in their offices or bungalows, where innumerable cups of tea and snacks are served. With so much of taxpayers’ money saved, we wonder: is there any way to retain the code of conduct the year round?
Not without my son
Nobody seems to be able to fight the son-rise in the NCP and Congress. Let's start with Navi Mumbai where environment minister Ganesh Naik has staked his claim on both the constituencies. The Belapur constituency that used to cover the satellite town has now been divided into two — Airoli and Belapur. While Naik himself will contest from Belapur, he wants Airoli to be handed to his younger son Sandip. If you didn't already know, Naik's elder son, Sanjiv, is an MP from the Thane-Belapur Lok Sabha constituency. So the family will have Navi Mumbai covered.
Then there's Industries Minister Narayan Rane. Having got his elder son Nilesh elected as MP from Ratnagiri-Rajapur, Rane is now lobbying for an assembly seat for his younger son Nitesh, preferably in Mumbai. While he himself will contest from Kankavli in Sindhudurg. One more family affair, hopefully.
Next is Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who managed to get his nephew Sameer elected as MP from Nashik. Now, he will contest the assembly election from Yeola in Nashik. But not content with that, he wants a ticket for his son Pankaj from Mazgaon in Mumbai.
The family that contests together stays together.
Poor Ramdas Kadam. First, he lost his assembly constituency after the delimitation. So his party, the Shiv Sena, pressurised the BJP to part with the neighbouring Guhagar constituency for him.
On Thursday, as news of an unwilling BJP giving up Guhagar spread, an overjoyed Kadam rushed to Matoshree with a big bunch of flowers.
But even as he was returning home, he was given the breaking news: the BJP had not accepted the Sena's demand. Last heard, Kadam has resolved not to buy any more flowers.